TCI COVID outbreak impacts CC numbers; four new* coronavirus deaths in Horry

By DEUCE NIVEN

tribdeuce@tabor-loris.com

     A COVID-19 outbreak at Tabor Correctional Institution has had an outsized impact on case numbers for Columbus County, while data confirmation processes may have contributed to four coronavirus deaths reported in one day in Horry County.

     This post will cover these topics and may be updated:

  • 23 of 50 new CC coronavirus cases linked to TCI
  • Four new* COVID deaths for Horry, more than 140 cases

23 of 50 new CC coronavirus cases linked to TCI

     Nearly half of the 50 newly confirmed COVID-19 cases reported by the Columbus County Health Department Thursday “can be attributed to Tabor Correctional Institution,” a health department news release said.

     COVID data is released by the local health department on twice weekly, on Monday and Thursday.

     State guidelines require that cases confirmed in congregate living settings within the county, including its two prisons, be included in coronavirus data totals, the health department said.

     NC Department of Public Safety data shows 26 TCI inmates testing positive for COVID-19, that data steady since Tuesday.

     A total of 667 Columbus residents have tested positive for the coronavirus during the pandemic, the health department reported. Of those, 404 people have recovered from the disease.

     There have been no COVID related deaths reported among county residents in recent weeks, that total steady at 39.

     Of the 50 newly confirmed cases, the health department reported, an additional 26 were reported after Monday’s news release, three on July 14, eight July 15, and thirteen today (July 16.)

     Five county residents are currently hospitalized due to COVID-19.

     Zip Code data, updated daily by the state’s Department of Health and Human Services, sometimes lags behind the county data. It showed Columbus with 658 total cases Thursday, up by 8 from Wednesday.

     That data showed the Whiteville area with five new cases, Hallsboro with two more, those pandemic totals now 182 and 63 respectively. Tabor City recorded a single new case, the Zip Code data showed, for a pandemic total of 168 cases and 11 deaths. Clarendon and Chadbourn areas each showed one newly confirmed COVID case.

     Columbus County Health Department’s COVID-19 Call Center remains operational from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. weekdays at 910-640-6615 ext. 7045 or 7046.

     North Carolina reported 2,160 new COVID infections and 20 new related deaths, the DHHS dashboard showed Thursday. That brings the state’s pandemic total to 93,426 people infected with the coronavirus, 1,588 killed.

     Hospitalizations fell by 8 Thursday, the DHHS data showed, to 1,134

Four new* COVID deaths for Horry, more than 140 cases

     Deaths of eight Horry County residents from COVID-19 complications were recorded Thursday, among a statewide total of 69 deaths reported by South Carolina’s Department of Health and Environmental Control, with an asterisk.

     While the confirmed deaths, and three that may also prove to be COVID related, were all reported Thursday, “the deaths of the individuals occurred over the past few weeks,” a DHEC news release said.

     Delays were the result of the time taken to confirm that a death was in fact COVID related, and procedures for verifying residency, DHEC reported.

     “Additionally, the report of an individual’s cause of death may be delayed if the individual had numerous medical issues or it takes longer to collect the personal demographic information from the family,” the news release said.

     With four newly confirmed deaths and 145 newly confirmed COVID-19 cases among county residents, Horry’s pandemic total is 6,386 cases and 75 deaths.

     Zip Code data showed eight of the new infections in the Loris area, a single new case in Green Sea, those pandemic totals now 369 and 31.

     South Carolina recorded 1,842 newly confirmed COVID cases Thursday, the 69 new deaths bringing the pandemic totals now 63,880 and 1,053 respectively.

     COVID related hospitalizations rose again in South Carolina Thursday, 1,578 people in the hospital due to the coronavirus, 18 more than Wednesday.

Updates

     Look for continuing coverage on local impacts from the coronavirus COVID-19 outbreak here and in the Tabor-Loris Tribune in print and online.